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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 101/27

Action brought on 28 February 2003 by the Commission Reference for a preliminary ruling by the Tribunal du
of the European Communities against the Council of the Travail de Bruxelles by judgment of that Court of 13 Feb-
European Union ruary 2003 in the case of Mr Vincenzo Piliego against
Centre Public d’Aide Sociale de Bruxelles, C.P.A.S.
(Case C-94/03)

(2003/C 101/45) (Case C-95/03)

An action against the Council of the European Union was (2003/C 101/46)
brought before the Court of Justice of the European Communi-
ties on 28 February 2003 by the Commission of the European
Communities, represented by Götz zur Hausen, Lena Ström
and Elisabetta Righini, acting as agents, with an address for
service in Luxembourg.

Reference has been made to the Court of Justice of the

The Applicant claims that the Court should: European Communities by judgment of the Tribunal du Travail
de Bruxelles (Labour Court, Brussels) of 13 February 2003,
— annul Council Decision of 19 December 2002 approving, received at the Court Registry on 4 March 2003, for a
on behalf of the European Community, the Rotterdam preliminary ruling in the case of Mr Vincenzo Piliego against
Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Centre Public d’Aide Sociale de Bruxelles, C.P.A.S. on the
certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in inter- following questions:
national trade (1); and

— order the Council to pay the costs. 1. Is Council Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 of 15 October
1968 ( 1) to be interpreted as applying to a national of a
Member State who resides in another Member State in
order to seek employment there, who is housed in a
hostel approved by the public authorities where he
Pleas in law and main arguments performs genuine and effective work in return for board
and lodging as part of a programme of rehabilitation by
work arranged by that institution, and who applies to the
The Commission’s request for annulment of the Decision is social assistance services of the host State for a social
founded on the violation of the Treaty resulting from the benefit under a non-contributory system guaranteeing
erroneous choice of legal basis. The question of the legal basis minimum financial means of subsistence?
for the conclusion of the agreement cannot be regarded as
purely formal in nature. Rather, the choice between
Articles 133 and 175 EC has important implications for the
division of competence between the Community and its 2. In the alternative, is Community law, and especially
Member States. As the Court has stated repeatedly, the Articles 12 EC, 17 EC and 18 EC, to be interpreted as
Community’s competence in the field of trade is exclusive in meaning that notwithstanding the restrictions imposed
nature. This exclusivity is indispensable in order to ensure a by the domestic legislation of the host State, a citizen of
coherent and effective defence of the Community’s interest in the Union lawfully residing in a Member State of which
the field of international trade. In contrast, as follows from the he is not a national is entitled, on the same conditions as
second subparagraph of Article 174(4) EC, the Community’s nationals of the host State, to social benefits under a non-
external competencies in the field of the environment are contributory system guaranteeing minimum financial
concurrent with those of the Member States. The choice of the means of subsistence? What if the host State decides to
legal basis has also consequences with regard to the procedures terminate the residence permit of such European citizen
for the adoption of the Community act. because he does not have adequate resources to avoid
becoming a burden on its social assistance system?

By basing its Decision concerning the conclusion of the PIC

Convention on Article 175(1) rather than Article 133 EC, the
Council has therefore violated the exclusive competence of the (1 ) Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 of the Council of 15 October 1968
Community for the conclusion of the PIC Convention. on freedom of movement for workers within the Community (OJ
L 257 of 19.10.1968, p. 2).

( 1) OJ L 63 of 6.3.2003, p. 27.